Grand Canyon / Sedona...Need advice

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Puckman, Apr 15, 2014.

  1. Puckman macrumors 6502

    Feb 5, 2008
    Yorba Linda, CA
    I'm planning a short road trip to the Grand Canyon and Sedona.
    Looking to spend 3 full days (in addition to 2 travel days) in the area. The main goal of the trip is photography, with a bit of hiking thrown in (as a means to get to good photo spots, nothing too strenuous).
    I've done the research on both locations and have a decent idea of which trails I'd like to hit up in Sedona, but am not sure whether I should spend 1 day or 2 days at the Grand Canyon.
    In other words, is 1 day enough to cover the Grand Canyon (lookouts, walking rim trail, no hikes into the Canyon) and the 2 remaining days are better spent in the Sedona area (which seems to have so many interesting things to shoot).
    Or would you say the GC is worth 2 full days, with 1 day left for Sedona?

    To those who have been to both areas, I'd appreciate any advice.
  2. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
    My personal favorite is the GC north rim. I could easily spend 2 days there shooting.
  3. fcortese macrumors demi-god


    Apr 3, 2010
    Big Sky country
    I only spent time in Sedona. The GC is definitely on my photography bucket list. Cathedral Rock is a must but if Oak Creek is running high you may have trouble crossing from the west side of the creek. I would think two days at the GC and 1 at Sedona.
  4. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    I'd spend one day at the GC, it's just too difficult to get unique shots and shots that capture the scale.

  5. Puckman thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 5, 2008
    Yorba Linda, CA
    Wow! Those are some greatly inspiring shots indeed! Thanks for pointing me to that.

    And thanks everyone else for the advice.
  6. Laird Knox macrumors 68000

    Jun 18, 2010
    The Grand Canyon is a big place. You might spend all of your time just traveling it. Sedona is going to have a larger concentrations of destinations. From that perspective I would spend more time in Sedona if your main interest is shooting.

    Other than fitting in more shooting locations they are both wonderful places to spend some time. I'm sure you will enjoy the trip.

    In Sedona I really like Montezuma's Well but that just might be because there were amazing clouds when I was there. ;)

    I really need to revisit this image. My post production work has improved a tad since then. :)
  7. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    I've been to both places a few times. Photography in the GC depends entirely on the weather and the light and if you are there only two days it might be good or not. If the air is not clear you may as well keep the camera in the bag or look for small macro subjects like plants and flowers. You need really good air for those big panoramic shots and that is just total luck.

    I think the best photographic subjects are the old indian ruins in Sodona AZ. you can walk up close and pose people in the frame. If the weather is poor the shots there will be good.

    So when you get to the area look at the weather and the forecast. I the air is "sharp" get a trip pod and wide lens and head for the Canyon with over cast sky or even rain details of the ruins would be best.
  8. HantaYo macrumors regular

    Nov 24, 2012
  9. NukeIT macrumors regular

    Mar 20, 2013
    You could spend a week in both locations and still not shoot the same thing twice. I know not a lot of help. But it's true. But I would spend more time in Sedona if it was me...

    Also where are you traveling from?? Are you going to be coming from the north east and thru Monument Valley?? There is another couple days of shooting there as well...
  10. Puckman thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 5, 2008
    Yorba Linda, CA
    Coming from the LA area, so no monument valley. That's a separate trip all by itself.

    I think I'm all set now: We'll be spending one evening at the GC (the day we arrive, so that's at least one sunset) + the next day.
    Then off to Sedona for 2 full days.
    I think that strikes a decent balance of both locations.

    Sadly, I don't have weeks to spend on all this, so I had to make the most of both locations in a 3 day window :)

    Thanks all for your input.
  11. kingalexthe1st macrumors 6502


    Apr 13, 2013
    I have just been to the Grand Canyon, spent 4 days there and am itching to go back for more. (I haven't been to Sedona, so my only advice extends to the GC) My advice is to go there for 2 nights if you get the chance. The reason for this is because the canyon lights up at sunset; it will totally take your breath away for approximately 1 hour. I recommend using this first evening for scouting; not just for the light but for where the crowds are and are not. A clue I found was that the concierge in our hotel was telling everyone the same route to see the sunset, so I purposefully held back on the walking route and found a spot to share with about 4 other people.

    The other reason is that the GC is pretty much the most amazing thing I have ever seen. If you go for one day, you'll definitely want to see more.


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